Join us on the HBR News show as we look at the insanity of the week, including doxxing senators on Wikipedia, teacher's unions opposing a bill that makes having sex with students illegal, the Albert Wison rape case, and more! Tune in @6pm Eastern!
The Four-Handed Condom
By Mike J.
Argentine based sex toy company Tulipán has created what they are calling the world's first "consent condom". The condom comes encased in a package that requires two participants and two pairs of hands to open by pressing special contacts built into the package. Joaquin Campins of the ad agency BBDO, the company responsible for this marketing idea, states, "Tulipán has always spoken of safe pleasure but for this campaign we understood that we had to talk about the most important thing in every sexual relationship — pleasure is possible only if you both give your consent." The idea for the condom came after a study found that as many as 20% of Argentinian men never use condoms. So far the company has been distributing the condom for free as promotional items at bars and special events, but plans to sell the condom are already in the works.
Former KU Student, Future Registered Sex Offender…
Albert Wilson, a former student of the University of Kansas, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last Wednesday for rape by force or fear. Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny said the sentence will be followed by lifetime post-release supervision and he must register as a sexual offender.
Wilson had no prior criminal history and according to Lawrence Journal-World, “his sentence is the lowest end of what’s called for by Kansas sentencing guidelines for rape”.
Wilson met his accuser at a bar near campus in September 2016. At the time he was 20 and used a friend’s ID to get in. His accuser, a 17-year-old, was not carded at all. The two met in line to a crowded dance floor called the “Boom Boom Room”.
“The victim testified at trial that she’d been drinking beforehand and that Wilson first lifted her skirt and assaulted her on the dance floor. She said he then led her, stumbling, out of the bar and to his home a couple of blocks away.”
There, she repeatedly told him, “No, I’m too drunk, I can’t do this,” but Wilson held her down and raped her, she said. She then returned to the bar and reconnected with her cousin, and went to a hospital for a sexual assault examination the following day.”
Forensic testing found no seminal fluid on the girl’s clothing or vaginal swab leading some media, like “Vibe”, to report on this as proof Wilson “didn’t have sex with [the] victim”. However, Kansas Bureau of Investigation technicians testified during the trial this doesn’t necessarily mean sexual intercourse did not occur. From Lawrence Journal-World: “Photos from the sexual assault exam the girl got at a hospital the next day corroborated her account that Wilson held down and bruised her legs while he raped her on his bed”.
The “Vibe” is also taking the opportunity to make this a racial issue, remarking that Wilson was convicted by an all white jury and on the social media response comparing his lengthy sentence to “actual convicted rapists like Brock Turner” who was given a lighter sentence.
Teacher’s Unions Oppose Bill that Would Make Sex with Students a Crime in Rhode Island
On April 2nd , HB 5817 in the Rhode Island legislature had a hearing. This bill, if passed, would make it a crime for a teacher to have sex with a student, even if the student is 16 or older. 16 is the age of consent in Rhode Island. The two teachers unions, Nation Education Association Rhode Island (NEA RI) and the United Federations of Teachers (UFT), both opposed the bill. The UFT had James Parisi speak for them at the hearing. Parisi spoke in opposition to the bill because it singles out school employees and does not include things such as store managers and the clergy. He also stated that there isn’t a problem and that the loss of a teacher’s teaching license and loss of job would be punishment enough if a teacher was having sex with a student. RI would not be the first state to have a similar law as this proposed. In Michigan, a teacher having sex with a student is illegal.
The Golden God
By Mike J.
After being arrested last year, a former employee for Senator Maggie Hassan has pleaded guilty to computer fraud and other offenses. The former employee, Jackson Cosko, admitted to breaking into Senator Hassan's office after being fired and collecting the personal information of several senators. Cosko used a key given to him by a fellow staffer, who as of now has also been fired, to break into his former office and install keyloggers on several computers while also downloading massive amounts of data. His motive appears to be anger at Republican senators, specifically the ones involved in questioning then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Cosko then posted the personal information of Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Orrin Hatch, Rand Paul, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wikipedia. Cosko was quick to brag about his deeds, referring to himself as a "golden god" and encouraging those who liked his work to "send us bitcoins". When spotted by a witness who noticed him in Hassan's office the following day, Cosko sent them a threatening email stating, "I own EVERYTHING" and "If you tell anyone I will leak it all". Cosko claimed he could release private emails, health data, encrypted messages, and even the social security numbers of the senator's children. Cosko was arrested shortly after and charged with "computer fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and making restricted personal information public". If convicted he could serve between 30 and 57 months in prison.
“The era of self-regulation for online companies is over"
The UK’s war for control over the internet has been ramping up, now taking aim at social media companies. The UK government is looking to establish the world's first independent regulator to keep social media companies in check by fining those who don’t live up to the set of requirements. The new measures to “make the internet a safer place” were announced by the Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement: "For too long these companies have not done enough to protect users, especially children and young people, from harmful content. We have listened to campaigners and parents, and are putting a legal duty of care on internet companies to keep people safe."
The regulator will attempt to force social media companies to tackle the following:
- Incitement of violence and the spread of violent (including terrorist) content
- Encouragement of self-harm or suicide
- The spread of disinformation and fake news
- Children's access to inappropriate material
- Child exploitation and abuse content
"The era of self-regulation for online companies is over. Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough," Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a statement.
And what of free speech? Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights points out that this “raises the specter of government censorship" and “shows how the failure of the social media companies to exercise more vigorous self-governance, especially when it comes to disinformation, has created the risk of government overreach".
Another group concerned about free speech, Big Brother Watch tweeted:
"This is an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech that will see internet giants monitoring the communications of billions and censoring lawful speech.
Rather than aiming to uphold the law online, Government is creating a two tier system with speech more tightly controlled on the internet than would ever be possible under existing law offline.
This nebulous concept of "harmful" speech will likely be used to simply silence opinions people don't like.
These plans position the likes of Facebook and Twitter as the police of free speech online, overseen by a regulator they fund themselves, and set an abysmal example for internet regulation globally.”
Before the proposals for greater regulation go forward, they face a vote in Parliament.